Andrea loves to design and plan events. She especially loves small events, garden parties, and weddings.
What Flowers to Give for Anniversaries
Celebrating wedding anniversaries dates all the way back to the Holy Roman Empire. In Medieval Germany, husbands gave their wives silver wreath crowns for their 25th anniversary. A wife would receive a gold wreath crown if she was lucky enough to make it to the 50th anniversary. (Living long enough to celebrate 50 years with your partner is no small feat whether in the past or today.)
The origins of our modern gift conventions date back to 1937. Before that, people would give gifts on the 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries.
In 1937, the American National Retail Jeweler Association introduced an expanded gift list for each year up to 25. Then for every fifth year after that.
The act of giving flowers dates back to ancient times. Flowers were given to express complex ideas like love, loss, innocence, and dreams. In Ancient Greece, there were myths about gods and goddesses turning into flowers.
Speaking of the Ancient Greeks, several of the flowers we know and celebrate today connect back to myths. This hub will look at flower lore from around the world.
Floriography is the language of flowers. It is a cryptic form of communication through flower arrangements. Floriography has been practiced for thousands of years throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Plants and flowers were used as symbols in ancient texts throughout Europe and Africa, particularly Egypt. In the Middle Ages, people continued to attach symbolism and lore to flowers. Shakespeare ascribed his own meanings to flowers in his plays. This includes: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Henry VI, Part I.
During the Victorian Era, flower symbolism was popular in England and the United States. Floral arrangements were used to send coded messages.
Expressing one's emotions was frowned upon in Victorian society. People would work around this with bouquets. You could convey more scandalous feelings with a red rose.
Victorians were obsessed with plants. Hunters went all around the world searching for exotic ferns. They would bring back the plants to England to try to impress the queen and the wealthy.
During the Victorian Era, technology made it possible for people to design their yards in ways they previously couldn't. Flower breeding was popular among amateur botanists, and with new flowers came new symbols and expressions.
Wedding Anniversary Flowers
In the present, people still give flowers to express ideas and emotions. There is a popular list about what flowers to give for each wedding anniversary, and this hub will examine that list.
There are other flower giving lists out there. And, of course, you can give your partner any flower of your choosing for any anniversary.
I do think it is romantic to give someone a flower every anniversary and based on the year. This list has some sensible ideas about what to give and how it relates to the age of your relationship. Also, if you follow this flower giving list, you won't have to think too hard about what to give. You'll be showing your commitment to the relationship by following this flower list. (You can also start following it at any age of your relationship and not just from year one.)
Flowers and Anniversaries
Lily of the Valley
Bird of Paradise
Yellow Rose, Violet
Year 1: Carnation
Carnations are also called clove pinks. It is a species of Dianthus. The flower is extremely popular; it is used for a variety of events. The carnation's exact origin is unknown due to extensive cultivation for the last 2,000 years. It's believed to be from the Mediterranean region.
- Carnations are mentioned in Greek literature dating back 2,000 years ago.
- The term dianthus is derived from the Ancient Greek words for divine (dios) and flower (anthos).
- Carnation comes from the Latin corona-ae, which can be summed up as a: "wreath, garland, crown, or coronet."
- Carnations were used in Greek and Roman ceremonial crowns.
- Carnations are a symbol for the Roman god Jupiter.
Carnations are a herbaceous perennial plant. They can grow up to about two and a half feet tall. Its natural color is bright pinkish-purple, but it can be cultivated in red, white, yellow, blue, and green.
Carnations are the traditional first wedding anniversary flower. Carnations express love, fascination, and distinction. In China, the carnation is the most popular wedding flower.
Light red carnations represent admiration, respect, and youth. Deep red carnations symbolize passion, deep love, and affection. Red carnations are typically used as anniversary gifts.
White carnations represent pure love and good luck. Striped carnations symbolize regret, unrequited love, or a love that can't be shared. (Skip the striped carnations for anniversaries.)
Year 2: Lily of the Valley
Origin: Eurasia, and there is a separate variety in North America.
The lily of the valley is a woodland flowering plant. It is sweetly scented with bell-shaped blooms. It is native to Asia and Europe. Some types are considered invasive in North America. (It's obvious, but the American lily of the valley is native to North America.)
It is highly poisonous if eaten by humans or animals. Keep these flowers away from small children and pets. The flower is also called May bells, Our Lady's tears, Mary's tears, Jacob's ladder, conval lily, glovewort, and Apollinaris.
- There is a legend in Greek mythology that Apollo discovered the flower.
- In the "language of flowers", the lily of the valley represents a return to happiness.
- The flower is a reference to the phrase "lily of the valley" in Song of Songs 2:1.
- The name of the flower dates back to the 15th or 16th centuries.
- The flower is a favorite of royals including Kate Middleton, Queen Victoria, and Grace Kelly.
Lily of the valley is often associated with femininity. The flower symbolizes motherhood, purity, chastity, and sweetness. It also represents rebirth and humility. The lily of the valley is supposed to bring good luck.
The flower is said to be the tears of Eve — she was banished from the Garden of Eden. Her tears fell to the ground and transformed into the white petals.
Year 3: Sunflower
Origin: North America.
I'm a sucker for sunflowers. Could anything be happier than a giant flower reaching to the sun? Sunflowers are native to North America and Central America. The round flower heads with the ligules look like the sun.
Sunflowers in temperate regions are cultivated as food crops for humans, cattle, poultry, and other livestock. Sunflowers grow during the summer and into early fall.
The flowers were first domesticated by Native Americans 3,000 to 5,000 years ago. They were introduced to Europe in the 16th century.
- Sunflowers, when they're young, tilt during the day to face the sun. They stop doing this once they have matured and have begun blooming. The tracking of the sun is called heliotropism.
- When sunflowers have matured they mostly face east.
Sunflowers symbolize adoration, loyalty, and longevity. These are all wonderful words to reflect on as you go into your third year of marriage. Yellow is the color of happiness and friendship. These flowers are meant to inspire optimism.
Dreaming of sunflower seeds means you have new beginnings in your life, you have new ideas, and a fresh healthy new pace in your relationship.
Dreaming of sunflower fields is a pleasant experience. Sunflower fields are associated with heaven or paradise. Also in dreams, admiring sunflowers shows you have acceptance of those around you.
Year 4: Hydrangea
Origin: Japan. (Ancient fossils have also been discovered in North America.)
In Japan, the hydrangea represents heartfelt emotions. Legend has it that a Japanese emperor gave blue hydrangeas to the family of a girl he loved. It was an apology for neglecting her. For this reason, the flower in Japan is associated with unity and togetherness.
The hydrangea was first cultivated in Japan. It is also called Ajisai. Hydrangeas bloom from June to July. They turn places like the Meigetsuin Temple into a mystical, fantasy garden.
Ancient fossils reveal the flower grew 40-65 million years ago in North America. The flower didn't make it to Europe until 1736, when a colonist brought a variety to England. In Europe, hydrangeas are known as hortensias.
- Hydrangeas come from the Greek word for water (hydros) and jar (angos). The flower shape resembles an ancient water pitcher.
- The flower requires regular watering.
- In Europe, the flowers were used to express arrogance. Men would send hydrangeas to women who rejected them.
- Some people believe women who grow hydrangeas in their yards will be cursed to be single. (You could consider this luck if marriage and courtship aren't your thing.)
Hydrangea Color Meanings
|Flowers||Meanings||When to Use|
Apology, Gratitude, Understanding
A thoughtful way to say you're sorry.
Vanity, Boasting, Purity, Grace
Easter bouquets, reverent occasions, weddings, baptisms. (The Victorians thought white hydrangeas were vain.)
Romance, True Feelings, Sincere Emotions
Summer wedding bouquets, table arrangements, and anniversaries.
Pride, Royalty, Deep Understanding, Desire for Depth
This is often the choice for the fourth wedding anniversary flower arrangement.
Year 5: Daisies
Origin: flower dates back some 4,000 years. It likely originated in Europe.
Daisies are connected to a long list of myths and legends. The flowers symbolize true love, innocence, purity, and spirituality. Daisies represent the stage when couples become parents.
Daisies are composite flowers. They consist of two flowers combined into one. They symbolize true love, soul mates, and twin flames.
The flowers remind us of deep love despite the loss of children, miscarriage, or infertility. The daisy is a sweet and simplistic flower; it relates to the soul or the timbre of a relationship.
- In an old Celtic legend, whenever a baby died, God sprinkled daisies over the earth to cheer up the parents.
- In Norse mythology, the daisy was Freya's sacred flower. She represented love, beauty, and fertility. Daisies also represented childbirth, motherhood, and new beginnings. Today in Scandinavia, daisies are given to new mothers.
- In the Roman myth of Vertumnus and Belides, daisies were a symbol of transformation. Vertumnus was the god of seasons and gardens. He fell in love with Belides, a nymph. In order to escape his affections, she turned herself into a daisy.
- In Old English, daises were called "day's eye." At night, the petals cover over the yellow center, and during the day the petals reopen. "As fresh as a daisy" means someone had a good night's rest.
Year 6: Calla
Origin: calla lilies are native to South Africa and Malawi. It is unclear how the flower came to Europe.
White calla lilies are used in Easter services to represent resurrection and rebirth. White callas are symbols for innocence. Yellow blooms are symbols of gratitude. Pink is for appreciation and admiration. Purple signifies passion.
The calla lily was named after the Greek word for beautiful, calla. The flower is associated with the Greek goddess Hera.
As the legend goes, Zeus brought Hercules, his son from another woman, to Hera while she was sleeping. He wanted the child to nurse from her. When she woke up, she pushed Hercules away. Drops of milk flew across the sky, creating the Milky Way. The drops that fell to the ground turned into lilies.
When Aphrodite saw the lilies, she was overwhelmed with jealously. She cursed their beauty. She placed a large yellow pistil in each flower.
The most well-known symbolism for callas comes from Christianity, not Greek myth. The flower's shape is compared to the Virgin Mary. In the church, callas are symbols of rebirth and resurrection. Callas bloom around Easter, and they're shaped like trumpets, suggesting triumph over death.
Callas as a Wedding Anniversary Gift
Callas in marriage represent victory over death, triumph over grief, and joy beating sadness. By about the sixth year of marriage, couples have had serious hardship. They've likely experienced the death of loved ones, job loss, setbacks, and more.
Callas are a reminder of the continuance of life and victory over trouble. The flower is a promise that more is to come and that beauty has healing powers.
Callas have maturity to them. They have a spiritual grace. They remind us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can make it through hardship, so keep your heart and mind focused on love.
For couples, you should reflect on your wedding vows. Your love will grow stronger if you stay with each other through sickness and health and through times of trouble and good fortune.
Year 7: Freesia
Origin: South Africa.
According to the Victorian language of flowers, the freesia is the flower of trust. Freesias are popular to give to friends and family. They symbolize friendship, trust, and thoughtfulness.
You need trust in the seventh year of your marriage. The two highest risk years for divorce are year seven and year eight. Most marriages will fail in the first two years of marriage, 10%. The reason? Infidelity. Men are more likely to cheat during that time and pre-nups come into question.
The Seven Year Itch
There are a lot of theories as to why marriages get rocky around the five to eight year mark. It may be something to do with evolution. It may be something to do with existentialism / personal crisis. At this point in your marriage, it is important to consider the health of your connection, how to strengthen it, and to think long term. If you work really hard on your marriage at this time, you can keep things going for decades.
Notes about Freesias
- Freesias are known for their delicate blooms.
- The flowers offer a pop of color just after the final snows of winter.
- The flower was named after a botanist, Friedrich H.T. Freese, by a fellow botanist, Christian P. Ecklon. The flower's name is a tribute to the friendship the gentlemen shared.
- The flower is about sweetness and innocence.
- The white freesia symbolizes purity and innocence. It's an appropriate flower for weddings as it relates to the new beginnings of a bride.
- A red freesia symbolizes passion.
- Pink freesias express motherly love.
- Yellow freesias equate to joy, trust, and renewal.
- In Victorian times, freesias were used to share secret messages.
Remember: life comes with hardships. Sharing hardships with another is an amazing, miracle like event. Our reality is made up of layers and layers of grief, so going through it with someone can make the journey more bearable.
Freesias remind you to love your friendship with your spouse and to trust deeply. You can make it to year 8 and beyond.
Year 8: Lilacs
Origin: Eastern Europe and Asia, brought over to America by colonists in the 1600s.
Lilacs are generally purple. In floriography, lilacs are a symbol of emotions and early love. The flowers originated in Southeastern Europe. They're popular in Mediterranean cultures.
- White lilacs symbolize purity and innocence.
- Blue lilacs = happiness and tranquility.
- Magenta is for passion and love.
- Light purple represents first love.
- Black is for mourning and death.
Lilacs are a reminder that your marriage is still growing and shaping. Lilacs are about your emotions and how they support you. Be vulnerable. Share your heart.
- Lilacs and the color purple are associated with spirituality. In Greece, Lebanon, and Cyprus, lilacs are associated with Easter. The flower blooms around that time.
- The Celtics thought lilacs had magical powers because of their strong, recognizable fragrance.
- Victorians gave out lilacs to remember an old love. Widows would wear lilacs as part of the mourning process.
- In Russia, people hold a sprig of lilac over a newborn to bring the baby wisdom.
Lilacs as a Wedding Anniversary Gift
- Lilacs encourage you to dig deeper into your marriage. It's an invitation to embrace emotions. Try to be more vulnerable.
- Lilacs remind you of how you fell in love.
- Lilacs have an intoxicating scent. Lilacs express heavy emotions.
- Lilacs suggest that love is not a weak emotion. It doesn't unfurl with ease. Love is intoxicating, it holds you together, it is the face of god and heaven.
|Parts of the World||Myth|
Pan, the god of forests and fields, fell in love with Syringa, a nymph. One day he was pursuing her and to eschew his advances she turned herself into a lilac shrub.
In some parts of the UK, it's considered bad luck to bring white lilacs into the house. Lilacs were put into coffins to mask bad smells.
White flowers are a symbol of ghosts and death. Red and pink flowers are associated with celebration.
Year 9: Bird of Paradise
Origin: South Africa.
This flower looks like something straight out of a dream. After the hardships you and your spouse have endured, you come to a beautiful place of acceptance. Paradise is freedom. Year nine is the paradise you deserve after working hard to stabilize your marriage.
Bird of paradise is hard to find. You might have to talk with a florist if you really want to get it for an anniversary.
Keep in mind: you could always buy a fake bird of paradise flower. Sometimes you can't find tropical delights.
Bird of paradises are best known for their bright orange and blue colors. The flowers can also be white. These flowers are eye-catching; they catch you off guard.
- There are five separate bird of paradise flowers. They're all grouped under the name Strelitzia.
- The scientific name is derived from Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. She married King George III. The flower was imported to England during their marriage. The queen wanted the king to name the flower after her.
- The flower looks like a bird in flight.
The flower represents paradise on Earth. With hard work and consistency, we build our own legacy. When you have arrived at nine years of marriage, you have created a legacy.
The flower represents freedom and travel. Marriage is meant to take you places. You're supposed to go on vacations. You should go see the world, travel the country, and explore national parks. You don't always have to work on the house and be a homebody.
The flower also represents excellence, magnificence, success, and faithfulness. The flower is all about optimism for the future.
Year 10: Daffodil
Origin: Northern Europe, grown in temperate climates.
Ten years of marriage is a major milestone. If you can hold onto each other for ten years, you're more likely to stay together for the long run. The daffodil represents your decade together. The flower indicates winter has ended, new beginnings, and rebirth. You're stepping into a new decade after closing your first together. The daffodil looks like a trumpet. In a way, the daffodil champions you on to take on more years of marriage.
Daffodils for ten year anniversaries mean joy, cheerfulness, and happiness. You and your spouse continue to find joy in each other and work hard to find that joy.
Yellow daffodils symbolize strength, overcoming obstacles, and success. It is one of the first perennials to bloom after the winter frost. It is resilient to nature and consistently returns.
Daffodils are used to brighten up people's gardens. The cheerful yellow and odd shape tends to make people happy.
The Latin name for daffodil is Narcissus, the youth who loved his beauty a little too much. The goddess Nemesis lured him to a pool where he could stare at his reflection all day. He fell in love with himself. While staring at his reflection, nymphs turned him into a flower. They got revenge on him for how he treated them.
In England, daffodils are called lent lilies. They typically bloom between Ash Wednesday and Easter. The daffodil is the National Flower of Wales. Its bloom coincides with St. David's Day, the patron Saint of Wales. The daffodil's faithful bloom each spring is a metaphor for David's faithfulness to his people.
Year 11: Tulip
Origin: Turkey and/or somewhere between Northern China and Southern Europe.
Perfect and deep love. Tulips come in just about any color. Tulips were originally found in a band stretching from Southern Europe to Central Asia. They grew wild in the valleys of the Tian Shan Mountains. Tulips were cultivated by Constantinople as early as 1055. They were the symbol of the Ottomans. The Ottoman Turks believed nature cherished tulips above all other flowers.
Europe wasn't aware of tulips until the 16th century. This led to Tulip Mania, a period of the Dutch Golden Age when prices for bulbs reached excessively high levels, and then the market dramatically collapsed in February 1637.
- Tulips are still a hot commodity in the Netherlands.
- The tulip was a hot topic for Persian poets in the 13th century.
- The tulip is the national symbol for martyrdom in Iran.
- In Turkey, the tulip is a symbol of paradise on Earth. The tulip has divine status.
- In the Netherlands, the tulip represents the briefness of life.
- In Christianity, tulips symbolize passion, belief, and love.
- White tulips represent forgiveness.
- Purple tulips represent royalty.
- Tulips were sought after in the Victorian Era for carpet bedding.
Tulips flower in spring and become dormant in summer. Tulip festivals are held throughout the world. Some of the biggest festivals are held in the Netherlands, Spalding, England, and Morges, Switzerland.
Year 12: Peony
Origin: Asia, Europe, Western North America.
The peony is a symbol of good fortune, a happy marriage, riches, honor, compassion, and romance. The flower also represents bashfulness.
There are two common myths about peonies. The Greek physician of the gods, Paeon, is believed to be the namesake for peony. Paeon was a student of Aesculapius, the god of medicine.
Paeon used a peony to heal Hades. Aesculapius was jealous of Paeon for healing Pluto, so then he tried to kill his student. To save Paeon, Hades turned into a peony. He knew the flower would be admired and praised, and that it would inspire compassion in Aesculapius.
In another myth, the peony is tied to the nymph Paeonia. She was beautiful and attracted the attention of Apollo. When Paeonia realized Aphrodite was watching her with Apollo, it made her blush. Aphrodite turned the nymph into a peony, which is why the flower symbolizes bashfulness.
The flower is native to China. They're considered the king of flowers. Peonies were China's national flower until 1929, when the plum tree replaced it.
Peonies as Medicine
Peonies have been valued as medicine since ancient times. Their roots and seeds have been used to try and relieve snake bites, seizures, and teething pain.
There are many superstitions related to peonies. A bush full of peonies is said to bring good luck. If the flowers are faded it's a sign that you should prepare for disaster. An odd number of blooms is considered bad luck.
The peony is given on couple's 12th anniversary because it symbolizes honor, fortune, and a happy relationship.
Peony Color Meanings
Romantic, good luck, prosperity. (Great as anniversary gifts)
Love, passion, honor, respect.
Year 13: Chrysanthemum
Origin: China, described in writings as early as 15th century BC.
In Asia, the chrysanthemum is a symbol of rebirth and life. Chrysanthemums are often given at birthdays and baby showers. In parts of Asia, the flower is seen as a symbol of happiness and health.
In Japan, chrysanthemums are a symbol for the sun. The flower is a nationally celebrated symbol. The Festival of Happiness is used to celebrate the flower. In Japan, they believe a chrysanthemum petal at the bottom of a wine glass will bring you a happy and healthy life.
In Europe, the flower is an expression of sympathy. In some European countries, chrysanthemums are only given as a token of grief or bereavement. The flower represents honor and respect in America.
- A red chrysanthemum is a symbol of love. (Red is usually a symbol of passion, strong feelings, and intimacy when it comes to flowers.)
- White chrysanthemums represent loyalty and devotion.
- A yellow chrysanthemum represents neglected love or sorrow. This is not the right flower to give for your 13th wedding anniversary. Stick to red or white.
Chrysanthemums overall represent happiness, love, longevity, and joy. If you are given a chrysanthemum, it means the giver is wishing you the very best.
Year 14: Dahlia
Origin: Mexico, Guatemala, Central America.
The dahlia represents wealth and elegance. The flower is native to Mexico, and has been the national flower since 1963.
- Dahlias grow in valleys underneath mountains.
- They stay fresh for a long time in a vase.
- Some dahlias can grow a foot long.
The Aztecs used the dahlia in religious ceremonies. They grew the flower as a food source. When corn and potatoes were introduced into Mexico, centuries ago, the dahlia was forgotten. That's until the Swedish botanist Andreas Dahi paid attention to it. His name was given to the plant.
There are more than 1,000 species of dahlias. It is generally a fall flower, but there are varieties available in spring and summer.
During the Victorian Era, dahlias symbolized a lasting bond and lifelong commitment between two people, which makes it an apt gift for your 14th wedding anniversary. The flower represents elegance, inner strength, change, creativity, and dignity.
The red dahlia represents power, love, and passion. It can also represent betrayal and dishonesty, so if something went wrong in your relationship a red dahlia might be a sign that somebody knows your secret.
Red dahlias can also be used to send a message of support and love. Bouquets are often sent to a friend or partner who is going through a difficult time.
Pink and purple dahlias are for kindness and grace. The flower is for someone who is irreplaceable in your heart.
White dahlias represent purity and focus. These are given to people as a surprise. They're perfect for weddings and baptisms.
Blue and green dahlias symbolize a new beginning or a new chapter. These flowers are perfect for several occasions: moving to a new house, a new baby, or graduating.
Black symbolizes betrayal. The black dahlia is a universal symbol for negative emotions. A bouquet of black dahlias with a couple of red ones is a pretty strong negative message.
Year 15: Rose
Origin: most species are native to Asia. Some are native to Europe, North America, and northwestern Africa.
All roses symbolize love at work in the world. The color of the rose gives it extra meaning.
- White roses are for purity and holiness.
- Red roses symbolize passion, sacrifice, and deep love.
- Yellow roses express wisdom and joy.
- Pink roses express gratitude and peace.
- Black roses are used to breakup or end things.
Red roses are the most popular choice when it comes to love, anniversaries, dates, and the like. Offering someone a red rose is a classic way to say, "I love you."
Red roses represent bliss in a marriage. The rose represents respect and appreciation. At 15 years of marriage, you have weathered many storms, you have grown closer together, you have had beautiful moments, and plenty of boring ones too. Not everyone makes it to the 15 year milestone.
In Greek mythology, the wild rose represents Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love. She is often portrayed with a crown of roses.
The rose is a symbolic carrier of secrets. The term "sub rosa" comes from the Roman era. Hanging wild roses above meeting places was meant to protect secrets. What was said under the rose shouldn't be spoken of or repeated elsewhere.
Following the wedding of Psyche and Eros, the world was covered with roses by the three Graces to celebrate the pair's eternal union.
Year 20: Aster
Origin: North America.
In most anniversary lists, flowers are given annually up to year 15. That year marks as a capstone, a milestone for couples.
The next flower after the rose isn't until year 20, the aster. It's named after the Greek word for star: the flower resembles the points of a star. Asters symbolize love, wisdom, and faith.
The aster blooms in pink, red, white, purple, and mauve. The flower was a symbol of love during the time of the Ancient Greeks. They would place asters on altars to the gods to say thanks.
In Greek mythology, Astraea is associated with the symbology of the aster. Her tears became stardust. Where her tears landed, asters would grow.
In ancient times, people thought burning aster leaves and the resulting fragrance would drive away evil snakes and spirits.
The aster is known as a symbol of love and patience. Sending a bouquet of asters comes with the message: "Take care of yourself for me." It conveys affection and hope for someone.
- Purple asters are used to symbolize wisdom and loyalty. Purple is the most common aster color.
- White asters symbolize purity and innocence.
- Pink symbolizes love and sensitivity toward others.
Facts about Asters
Number of species
Comes from the Ancient Greek word for star, refers to the shape of the flower head
In mountains across the Northern Hemisphere
Year 25: Iris
Origin: Syria, the Middle East.
In Greek mythology, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow and the messenger for Zeus and Hera. She carried messages from heaven to earth on the arc of her rainbow. She helped female souls as they made their journey to heaven.
Greeks in contemporary times plant purple irises on women's graves. The goddess Iris is supposed to guide souls to their final resting place.
The iris flower symbolizes wisdom, hope, trust, and valor. The flower can be found in temperate places in the world.
During the 16th century BCE, irises were introduced to Egypt from Syria. Irises were used to decorate pharaoh scepters.
The iris inspired the fleur-de-lis. It was a decorative symbol of French royalty. During the Middle Ages, the fleur-de-lis appeared on coat of arms, coins, and shields. The French Monarchy believed the three petals represented the three social orders: nobility, clergy, and peasants.
There are over 200 species of irises. Van Gogh studied irises to capture their twisting and curving lines. There is something clever to the flowers, and they have a certain maturity to them that makes them a suitable gift for a couple's 25th anniversary.
- Purple irises are used for royalty and wisdom.
- Yellow equates to passion.
- Blue is for faith and hope.
- White symbolizes purity.
Year 28: Orchid
Origin: Asia, Australia, Himalayas, Philippines.
For whatever reason, there is a flower for the 28th wedding anniversary. This is random because after the 15th year, most of the anniversary flowers fall in years of five or ten.
The orchid is associated with fertility, virility, and sexuality. The orchid is a reminder of the flame you share with your spouse. It's a reminder that you're both aging, but the flame is still strong.
Ancient Greeks considered the orchid a symbol of virility. They thought the gender of a child could be revealed by eating the tubers of orchids.
In ancient Japan, orchids were considered a symbol of the wealthy and royals. Orchids were kept in temples. Painters often added them to their artwork, especially on scrolls.
During the Victorian Era, people gave exotic and rare flowers to each other to express feelings of love. The rarer the flower, the more deeply someone felt about you.
There are thousands of orchid varieties. They bloom in most conditions.
- White orchids = innocence, purity, elegance, and beauty.
- Purple orchids = admiration, respect, royalty, dignity.
- Yellow orchids = friendship, joy, and new beginnings.
- Pink orchids = grace, joy, happiness, innocence, femininity.
- Orange orchids = enthusiasm, boldness, pride.
- Green orchids = good fortune, blessings, good health, nature, longevity.
- Red orchids = passion, desire, strength, courage.
Year 30: Lily
Origin: most species are native to temperate locations in the Northern Hemisphere.
Lilies, for the most part, represent purity. In ancient Greece, lilies were associated with Hera and Zeus and symbolized rebirth and motherhood.
In China, lilies are one of the most common flowers at weddings. In China, lilies represent 100 years of love. The sweet scent of lilies makes it an ideal flower for special occasions.
30 years of marriage should be marked by a sweet flower, by one that's enduring, and one that's beautiful. The lily carries with it both a sense of youthfulness and maturity.
There are about 100 species of lilies around the world. The flowers are most commonly grown in balmy temperatures in Asia, Europe, and North America. Ancient Egyptians thought lilies were sacred. The Romans used lily petals for their pillows.
- White lilies are the most popular. They're representative of rejuvenation. White lilies symbolize purity, commitment, and rebirth. The white lily is also used as a mourning flower.
- Pink lilies represent femininity. They're also a symbol of love, adoration, and admiration. Pink lilies are usually sent to close female friends and family members. They're intended to let someone know you're thinking of them, and you're lending your support to them. They're also sent to help boost self-esteem.
- Red lilies are for love and passion. They symbolize romantic love. Red lilies have started to give the classic red rose a run for its money. Red lilies are also associated with hard work and dedication.
- Orange lilies are associated with a refreshing sense of confidence and energy.
- Yellow lilies are symbolic of new beginnings, happiness, loyalty, and sunshine.
Year 40: Gladiolus
Origin: South Africa.
The gladiolus have a history that spans from Africa to the Mediterranean. The flower symbolizes strength, moral integrity, and infatuation. These are all components you need to make it to an impressive 40 years of marriage.
The word gladiolus comes from the Latin word for sword. Because of this word association, giving the flower to someone comes with the added message of "piercing the giver's heart with passion."
Gladiolus is the August birth flower. It evokes the drama of Roman gladiators, so feel free to give a quirky card to your spouse about Russell Crowe.
Gladiators were known for their honor and their determination. They wouldn't simply give up in the heat of conflict. Someone who perseveres to 40 years of marriage doesn't simply give up when things go south. They stick by your side through thick and thin, through sickness and health. At 40 years of marriage, you have pretty much seen everything. Very little surprises you or shakes you. At 40 years of marriage, you have both lived long lives. You're either in your golden years or in your elderly years. You've retired, your kids have grown up, and you've got completely different priorities than when you first fell in love. The rest of your journey may be tough as you encounter illnesses and the risk of losing each other to death increases.
Notes about the Gladiolus
Gladiolus was the word Frank Neuhauser spelt to win the 1925 National Spelling Bee
Year 50: Yellow Rose and Violet
Origin: violets are native to North America.
The yellow rose and the violet are associated with 50 years of marriage. Most couples don't make it to 50 years of marriage. At this point, you're in your 70s, 80s, or 90s.
It's hard for two people to live into old age. If you've stayed married this long, it is definitely an achievement. Your kids and grandchildren want to celebrate your long lasting love and the legacy you have created together.
This is your golden anniversary, hence the yellow rose. You stuck by each other, you supported each other, you held onto each other, and you learned how to treat each other better. You knew when to listen, you knew when to compromise, and you may have some skeletons in the closet, but let's hope they're not too scary of skeletons.
If you go back to year 15, you'll find information about the rose, so I think it would better serve your time if I gave you information on the violet.
Violets symbolize dreams, honesty, protection, healing, remembrance, and determination. All of these traits are necessary if you want to make it 50 years with your spouse.
As we age, we get closer to death. We think more about the spiritual world, the possibility of heaven, and other realms. The violet symbolism of dreams is appropriate for this reason.
The violet is a reminder that there is still life to be found on the other side even if we don't fully know what that is.
Year 60: Poppy
Origin: naturally found in California, the Netherlands, Iran, China.
Poppies have long been used as a symbol of sleep, peace, and death. A 60 year marriage is likely the max number of years you can expect before you die and go to the other side.
Opium is extracted from poppies and used as a sedative. Poppies have been placed on graves to symbolize eternal sleep. Poppies are also used as a symbol of peace. The remembrance poppy is used to honor those who have died for their country. They're particularly popular in the United Kingdom.
The red poppy has close associations with World War I. The poppy was used to help raise funds for the Red Cross and other charitable programs.
The poppy is also used as a symbol for dreams, beauty, success, and luxury.
- Red is the most common poppy. It's associated with death, dreams, and sleep. Red poppies are used to recognize fallen soldiers.
- Pink and blue are both meant to express luxury, success, and imagination.
- White poppies are used for remembrance and peaceful rest. They're often used in mourning ceremonies in Asia.
The ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians noted the sedative power of poppies. The Greeks related the poppy to the god of sleep, Morpheus.
In Japan and China, the poppy is seen as a symbol of passionate love.
© 2021 Andrea Lawrence
Rawan Osama from Egypt on June 11, 2021:
Andrea Lawrence (author) from Chicago on June 11, 2021:
Thank you! I plan to write some others like it.
Peace Tobe Dike from Delta State, Nigeria. on June 10, 2021:
Nice article.i enjoyed reading this.